LSO: Drug, gang task force to coordinate law enforcement efforts - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

LSO: Drug, gang task force to coordinate law enforcement efforts under one roof

Lubbock County Sheriff Kelly Rowe (Source: KCBD Video) Lubbock County Sheriff Kelly Rowe (Source: KCBD Video)
Local agencies are working to form a narcotics and gang prevention task force (source: KCBD video) Local agencies are working to form a narcotics and gang prevention task force (source: KCBD video)
LUBBOCK COUNTY, TX (KCBD) -

Lubbock County Sheriff Kelly Rowe calls it a significant problem across the South Plains: drug trafficking and organized crime activity.

Just last weekend, LSO deputies arrested three men in Lamb County who are now facing charges of manufacturing and delivering 20 pounds of methamphetamine.

In response to these incidents, law enforcement agencies in Lubbock County are teaming up to try and stop the growing trend.

Sheriff Rowe says the Lubbock County Sheriff's Office, Lubbock Police Department and DPS, among other agencies often work together on these cases in an informal matter.

He says now they are trying to form a task force to specifically target gangs and narcotics.

"It's saddening, and absolutely mind boggling the volume that we're seeing enter into our community," Sheriff Rowe said.

Sheriff Rowe says right now, LSO alone has identified 56 different security threat groups or violent gangs operating in our county.

"Since 2014, we have just seen an explosion of narcotics trafficking in this area," Sheriff Rowe said.

He says Lubbock, Hockley, Hale and Howard counties have together been identified as High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA counties).

This has prompted local agencies to work on forming a task force, unofficially named the Lubbock Metropolitan Narcotics and Violent Gang Task Force.

It would be made up of about 70 officers, detectives, and investigators from our local agencies along with federal agencies with local field offices here.

Part of this would be a grant from the governor's office to create a TAG Center, or Texas Anti-gang Center

"It puts us in the position to have all of our investigative resources operating, for all intents and purposes, under one roof. We're able to share that same intelligence. We're able to de-conflict immediately when we're working with different individuals...so that we're not stepping on each other's toes. Because again, in most all cases we find ourselves working ultimately on the same, the same criminal element," Sheriff Rowe said.

He says the key component is being able to help the outlying counties who don't have as many resources.

"They're going to move out into the smaller surrounding areas. They're already there. But get out where we can apply the appropriate amount of personnel to be able to deal and confront these issues as we need to, and help those little areas that are very limited on resources, be able to confront this and get their communities as safe as they can be as well," Sheriff Rowe said.

Sheriff Rowe believes the large number of officers working on these cases would be a great way to fight this.

"Being able to put all those together, now we've got a force multiplier that will make Lubbock a very unpleasant and very high risk place to distribute narcotics and engage in organized gang activities," Sheriff Rowe said.

Sheriff Rowe says he is meeting with the Governor's Office next week to discuss where they are at with meeting the grant deadline.

He says he is confident things will get moving soon.

We'll continue to follow this as it develops.

Copyright 2017 KCBD. All rights reserved.

  • Local News on KCBD.comNewsMore>>

  • MLB umpire Tumpane rescues woman on Pittsburgh bridge

    MLB umpire Tumpane rescues woman on Pittsburgh bridge

    Thursday, June 29 2017 12:34 AM EDT2017-06-29 04:34:49 GMT
    Thursday, June 29 2017 10:21 AM EDT2017-06-29 14:21:20 GMT

    Major League Baseball umpire John Tumpane says he's no hero after helping save a woman attempting to jump off the Roberto Clemente Bridge.

    Major League Baseball umpire John Tumpane says he's no hero after helping save a woman attempting to jump off the Roberto Clemente Bridge.

  • Limits on travel to US issued after Supreme Court ruling

    Limits on travel to US issued after Supreme Court ruling

    Thursday, June 29 2017 4:31 AM EDT2017-06-29 08:31:42 GMT
    Thursday, June 29 2017 10:03 AM EDT2017-06-29 14:03:04 GMT

    The move comes after the Supreme Court partially restored President Donald Trump's executive order that was widely criticized as a ban on Muslims.

    The move comes after the Supreme Court partially restored President Donald Trump's executive order that was widely criticized as a ban on Muslims.

  • Little progress evident as GOP hunts health bill votes

    Little progress evident as GOP hunts health bill votes

    Thursday, June 29 2017 4:10 AM EDT2017-06-29 08:10:37 GMT
    Thursday, June 29 2017 10:02 AM EDT2017-06-29 14:02:56 GMT

    Facing a daunting equation - the bill loses if three of the 52 GOP senators oppose it - the list of Republicans who've publicly complained about the legislation reached double digits, though many were expected to eventually relent.

    Facing a daunting equation - the bill loses if three of the 52 GOP senators oppose it - the list of Republicans who've publicly complained about the legislation reached double digits, though many were expected to eventually relent.

Powered by Frankly